Lamar embraces this role, like he did a year ago, and now he is a defending champion!

Picture 1Press Enterprise: The Lakers sat in the same seats during Wednesday’s bus ride to Anaheim as they did on the way to every game a year ago, just one of their subtle attempts to keep last season’s championship magic alive.

They still have the same lockers. They still chant “1-2-3 Ring” after every practice. And, aside from free agent Ron Artest taking Trevor Ariza’s place at small forward, they apparently still have the same starting lineup.

Before opening the preseason against Golden State, Lakers coach Phil Jackson confirmed he will start Andrew Bynum and bring Lamar Odom off the bench, explaining he saw no reason to deviate from the lineup that was so effective a year ago.

Odom initially bristled at coming off the bench for the first time in his career last season, but this season he quashed that line of questioning quickly.

“I wouldn’t change it. We won a championship,” he said. “I’m comfortable with my position. I’m still playing enough minutes. I have no problem with it. I’ve found my niche, my lane, as far as what this team needs me to do. It would be stupid of me to fool with that.”